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What Are Nematodes?
Nematodes are microscopic, small roundworms that live in the soil. Nematodes can be both beneficial as well as harmful for your plants.
How Nematodes Affect Gardening:
The most common of all the garden nematodes is root-knot nematode. They interrupt plants normal process of taking water and other nutrients through the roots by burrowing into them. As a result, various knobs are formed in the roots of the plant.
Root knob is a very common problem in plants like Potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, roses, etc.
What is Neem cake?
Neem cake is a nutrient-rich organic material derived from neem seed. They are used to fertilize the soil as well as to stop pests and nematodes.
Why Use Neem Cake for Controlling Nematode Population:
Traditionally nematodes are controlled with the use of synthetic or chemical pesticides. But as we all know continuous use of these harse chemicals are dangerously impact out food. Chemical pesticides are also quite expensive.
Due to these reasons people are now switching for organic options for controlling nematodes. Among all organic substitutes neem cakes seem to be quite promising.
In a study that was conducted to see the effects of neem cake on nematodes, scientists have tested different growing conditions and various strengths of neem cake.
The results show drastic reduction in nematode population that are causing diseases like root-knot and lesions. Interestingly, the population density of free-living nematodes were either enhanced or not affected by neem cake treatment.
Effect of Neem Cake on Nematodes:
Neem cake has nematocidal organic compounds such as nortriterpenoids and isoprenoids. Because of these two compounds neem cake protects crops from nematodes and other pathogens. To get the best result use at the earlier stages of the crop cycle.
When the cakes decomposes in the soil, they release amino acids, fatty acids, ketone bodies, sulfur etc. These impact nematode population nearby.
How to Apply Neem Cake to The Soil:
In the summer, before plouging the field apply neem cake to the soil. Then plough the field thoroughly and leave it for a week. The general rule is to apply 10 quintal per acre.
During this time the neem cake will start decomposing slowly and will reduce the nematode population. After a week start sowing seeds.
The Benefits of Using Neem Cake:
Here are some of the other benefits of using neem cake
- As an excellent organic soil amendment. It enriches the soil and can be used as other soil conditioners.
- The cakes are organic and natural substances. They are bio-degradable.
- It is chemical-free.
- You can mix them with other organic fertilizers. Neem cake is a natural nitrification inhibitor. It increases the availability of nitrogen. They improve the texture of your garden soil.
- Their organic nature and water holding capacity also help to keep the soil aerated. This is a must for better root development.
- As neem cakes are sustainable, in the long-term it is very cost-efficient.
- Neem oil cakes can also work as a pest repellent. These dual effects of fertilizing and pest protection can result in amazing yields.
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